The Center of Excellence on Autism Spectrum Disorders focuses on educator and family access to evidence-based training, materials, resources, research, support services, and technical assistance concerning their needs related to autism spectrum disorders. Three divisions, Training, Research, and Outreach, work together in support of a common mission.
The Training Division serves as a resource for those seeking access to professional development necessary for improving student outcomes. This division is currently developing a training package for public schools that would ensure all staff and related service providers working with students with autism spectrum disorders are knowledgeable regarding the disability and evidence-based interventions that will enhance educational progress. The Training Division also serves as a support to higher education institutions preparing preservice professionals and to parent organizations working to strengthen collaboration between parents and educators.
The Research Division evaluates Center offerings, conducts studies to validate training materials, and translates the science into practice. This division also facilitates and conducts innovative research across disciplines involved in the education of students with autism spectrum disorders to discover areas of need and establish effective, evidence-based practices.
The Outreach Division identifies direct service needs of districts and educational organizations and seeks to provide targeted technical assistance in order to meet those needs. In the future, this division will respond to requests for assistance from agencies and provide support to district and school-level multidisciplinary teams in determining educational eligibility, developing educational programs, locating supports for school-based personnel, interpreting evaluation/assessment findings, and selecting evidence-based intervention and solutions reflective of each child's individual needs. Division responsibilities include sponsoring a variety of community activities, special events, and other learning opportunities open to the public such as SIT for Autism.
Thousands of children in Connecticut schools have an Autism spectrum disorder.